Team Services | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | Previous versions (XAML builds)
Build with MSBuild
Team Services and Team Foundation Server 2017: If your team uses Visual Studio 2017 and you want to use our hosted agents, make sure you select as your default queue the Hosted VS2017. See Hosted agents.
If you want to build a single project, click the ... button and select the project.
If you want to build multiple projects, specify search criteria. You can use a single-folder wildcard (
Make the sure the projects you specify are downloaded by this build definition. On the Repository tab:
Tip: If you are building a solution, we recommend you use the Visual Studio build step instead of the MSBuild step.
|MSBuild Arguments||You can pass additional arguments to MSBuild. For syntax, see MSBuild Command-Line Reference.|
Specify the platform you want to build such as
Specify the configuration you want to build such as
Tip: Declare a build variable such as
Set to False if you want to make this an incremental build. This setting might reduce your build time, especially if your codebase is large. This option has no practical effect unless you also set Clean repository to False.
Set to True if you want to rebuild all the code in the code projects. This is equivalent to the MSBuild
|Restore NuGet Packages||(Important) This option is deprecated. Make sure to clear this checkbox and instead use the NuGet Installer build step.|
|Record Project Details||Select this checkbox if you want details about how much time was needed to build each project. You can see these details when you select this build step in a completed build.|
In some cases you might need more control over the version of MSBuild that you are running.
Should I use the Visual Studio Build step or the MSBuild step?
If you are building a solution, in most cases you should use the Visual Studio Build step. This step automatically:
/p:VisualStudioVersionproperty for you. This forces MSBuild to use a particular set of targets that increase the likelihood of a successful build.
Specifies the MSBuild version argument.
In some cases you might need to use the MSBuild step. For example, you should use it if you are building code projects apart from a solution.
Where can I learn more about MSBuild?
How do I build multiple configurations for multiple platforms?
On the Variables tab, make sure you've got variables defined for your configurations and platforms. To specify multiple values, separate them with commas.
For example, for a .NET app you could specify:
Name Value BuildConfiguration debug, release BuildPlatform any cpu
For example, for a C++ app you could specify:
Name Value BuildConfiguration debug, release BuildPlatform x86, x64
On the Options tab select MultiConfiguration and specify the Multipliers, separated by commas. For example:
Select Parallel if you want to distribute the jobs (one for each combination of values) to multiple agents in parallel if they are available.
On the Build tab, select this step and specify the Platform and Configuration arguments. For example:
Can I build TFSBuild.proj files?
You cannot build TFSBuild.proj files. These kinds of files are generated by TFS 2005 and 2008. These files contain tasks and targets are supported only using XAML builds.
Do I need a build agent?
You need at least one agent to run your build. Get an agent.
I can't select a default agent queue and I can't queue my build. How do I fix this?